Reverse upgrade psychology with United…

I did something last night that I’d never thought I’d do in my whole life. I intentionally chose to fly on an Airbus 319 (with only eight first class seats) when I could have flown a Boeing 757 (with 24 first class seats). Why? Because I wanted my upgrade to clear!

Hear me out. So a little over a week ago I booked my San Francisco to Washington Dulles redeye for last night. I took the Boeing 757 redeye a few days before, and cleared as a 1K, though I was among the last to get the upgraded and ended up in 1C (which is a less than ideal seat).

You see, maybe I’m crazy, but I think United’s new unlimited domestic upgrades may have made the upgrade on the San Francisco to Washington Dulles late night Airbus 319 redeye easier.

Anyone in their right mind would choose an aircraft with three times the number of first class seats, especially when first class upgrades are “free,” right? Well, that leaves the A319 to us crazy people. I cleared the upgrade on this flight in advance, while I don’t think I would have cleared at all on the earlier redeye. And as it turns out the service was excellent. The purser introduced himself to first class passengers during boarding, offered pre-departure beverages of choice, and was overly attentive.

On second thought, maybe I should just shut up and keep this to myself. 😉

Filed Under: United
  1. Hmm? I doubt most people give it much thought beyond the time, so I think you we’re just lucky.

  2. I can second that anecdote: Next week I have an early morning ORD-NYC flight, where GS members sometimes see coach. I booked the 7am Regional jet, rather than the 6am early bird, and I cleared the upgrade already as a 1k (W fare)

    How are those breakfast snack boxes these days?

  3. I think generally the later SFO-IAD flight is usually emptier even though it’s smaller. I used to live in DC and I took this flight often.

    On another note, I have a 100% upgrade record as a a 2p (not for long) on the TPA-IAD 757s, if I cleared the TPA-IAD A319 this weekend, I’ll believe in you 😛

  4. Based on my experience on 5/13 10:30 red eye I think Lucky may be on to something. There were 59 people on the UG waitlist, I was #4 and they had 2 open seats. At least I had 16 A.

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